Improved Data Tracking System for Crew-Served Weapon Systems
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-081
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Improved Data Tracking System for Crew-Served Weapon Systems




ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA242 Direct and Time-Sensitive Strike


OBJECTIVE: Investigate, design, develop, and demonstrate a standalone innovative approach that reduces the risk of weapon malfunction or failure and improves the reliability of crew-served weapon system rounds count data input in support of maintenance tracking.


DESCRIPTION: High usage and transfer rates of weapons systems result in frequent inaccurate rounds counting documentation or loss of rounds count data. The current periodic maintenance and parts replacement intervals for the GAU-17, GAU-21, and M240D crew served weapons are based upon the rounds count data (number of rounds fired). Rounds count accuracy is therefore a critical component in conducting timely maintenance on life-limited components. Failure to replace components at their designated intervals can lead to component failure impacting the weapon’s availability. As a result, the Navy has a strong need for an innovative approach utilizing Automatic

Identification Technology (AIT) to ensure accuracy of rounds count and inventory control data. This innovative approach must track rounds fired and cycle of operations; and help drive predictive weapons diagnostics. This innovative approach must also provide real-time inventory tracking to provide accurate inventory control on weapons systems; accurate weapons issue/receipt transactions when weapons are transferred between fleet organizations; readily available historical issue/receipt transactions; and accurate rounds counts tracking for each weapons system. It is envisioned that the system would contain a weapon-mounted rounds counter that would interface with a computer-based data tracking system located in the armory or where weapons are stored. By ensuring accurate rounds counts and weapons inventory, this unique approach will help establish critical maintenance intervals, reducing the risk of weapons malfunction or failure. Weapon-mounted components would need to provide their own power source and any batteries used must be qualified as safe-for-flight. Components designed to mount to the weapons must fit within the confines of current weapon-mounting solutions and trade space will vary depending on the gun and mount utilized. System models showing gun/mount combinations can be provided during the development effort in order to help define available trade space. Components designed to mount the weapons must stay attached to the weapon during flight and do so without interfering with the weapon’s rate of fire or ability to fire, without limiting movement of the weapon, without limiting movement of the mount, and without limiting the weapon’s field of fire. Additionally, the system must not limit the operator’s ability to remove the weapon from the mount in flight. Total weight of any components mounted to the weapon system must be less than 2 lbs. Weapons mounted components are intended to remain permanently affixed to the weapon and must be able to withstand effects of cleaning solvents and lubricants including Isopropyl Alcohol TT-I-735, MIL-PRF- 63460E, MIL-PRF-372, MIL-PRF-85570 Type II, MIL-PRF-680 Type III, TW-25B, and Gunslick Pro Cleaning



The Department of Defense has documented interest in the development of an improved weapons data tracking system. In 2012, the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) published a report entitled “Analog Microcontroller Model for an Energy Harvesting Round Counter” describing research that was accomplished toward the development of a rounds counter. In 2015, MAWTS-1 requested a flight clearance to demonstrate a GAU-21 rounds counter. The rounds counter was flown on a CH-53E during a night flight on 8 Oct 2015 and failed to meet requirements. At the Operational Advisory Group (OAG) in 2018, MALS-16 presented a projects brief discussing the fleet desire for an improved weapon systems data tracking system utilizing AIT in accordance with Marine Corps Order (MCO) 4000.51C, Automatic Identification Technology. Additionally, in 2018 the Weapons Type Commander, San Diego has stated that developing an improved weapons data tracking system will increase records reliability for the fleet’s weapon systems.


Improved Crew Served Weapon Systems Data Tracking System components shall not interfere with or impede the function of the weapons system, mounts, or laser devices and must be designed in accordance with the following military standards and handbooks:

MIL-STD-130N Identification Marking of U.S. Military Property

MIL-STD-464C Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Requirements for Systems MIL-STD-810G Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests MIL-STD-1289D Airborne Stores, Ground Fit and Compatibility Requirements MIL-STD-1472G Human Engineering

MIL-STD-1474D Noise Limits

MIL-STD-1913 Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail for Small Arms Weapons

MIL-STD-2073-1E Procedures for Development and Application of Packaging Requirements MIL-STD-7179 Finishes, Coatings, and Sealants for the Protection of Aerospace Weapons Systems

MMPDS-05 – Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization


PHASE I: Design a concept for a system that can be used to track rounds and maintain inventory control on a GAU- 21 weapon. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept through preliminary analysis and testing to determine accuracy of potential data recorded. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.


PHASE II: Refine and optimize the data recording system design developed in Phase I and expand the concept to integrate with the M240D and GAU-17/A weapons. Build a prototype system and demonstrate the prototype



PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Conduct an operational assessment to demonstrate the ability of the systems developed for GAU-21, M240D, and GAU-17/A function to integrate and function within an operational fleet environment.


Rounds counters and associated AIT technologies could be modified to be used in conjunction with commercially available weapons for law enforcement, security organizations, shooting ranges, and individual civilian use.



1.   Makowiec, S.L., Johnson, M. & Doxbeck, M. “Technical Report ARWSB-TR-12012: Analog Microcontroller Model for an Energy Harvesting Round Counter.” Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center, Weapons & Software Engineering Center, July 2012.


2.   “Marine Corps Order 4000.51C, Automatic Identification Technology (AIT), 12 Nov 2013.


KEYWORDS: Aircraft Gun Systems; Crew Served Weapons; Rounds Counter; Maintenance Tracking; Automatic Identification Technology; Inventory Control



Michelle Seelinger





Jesse Boyd IV





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